Think Anew, Act Anew

observations and opinion

The Case for Hillary

Clinton 2016

 

Hillary Clinton is one of the most successful human beings to walk the face of the Earth. She is braver, smarter and stronger than most people. She does all that in high heels, dancing backwards. She is better than most people. She frightens the Republicans who have repeatedly tried and failed to destroy her.  All the more urgent, then, to make the case for Hillary, before it’s too late.

*

This election season, the U.S. media focus relentlessly on the faults of leading candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The voters hate them both, we are told. This trope has the effect of reducing the two candidates to somewhat equivalent status: they are BOTH awful, they are BOTH disliked, etc.. The effect of this is to make it seem that Trump and Clinton are somehow alike, somehow similar.

The other media and online pre-occupation this year, understandably, is the bizarreness of Trump. He is loud, mouthy, rude, erratic, mean, cruel, disoriented and disorienting. He is a pickup truck, sliding down an icy hill, bashing into parked cars to and fro. You can’t take your eyes off him.

Then we have the reality of Clinton’s political persona in this hyper-partisan age: she is ideologically liberal, but so experienced that she tempers her rhetoric and her thinking in practical, moderate ways. This combination makes her distasteful to hard core conservatives (who despise her innate liberalism and fear her competence) and to hard core progressives (who distrust her pragmatism). In a careless and flippant time, Hillary Clinton is always careful and always earnest.

In this tempest of noise and opinion, the Clinton campaign and Democrats don’t seem to be making much of a case for Hillary.  It is clear that she is not Donald Trump and yes, that is a good thing – it might even be enough to win her election by default. But “I’m not Trump” is about as winning a slogan as “I’m not an old Vermont Socialist” – it alienates as much, or more, as it endears.

And so Clinton’s support slowly declines, while Trump makes small but important gains in the battleground states. The incredibly awful Mr. Trump can win in November and in part, that’s because the facts about Hillary Clinton have been buried. For anyone who thinks Trump would be a calamity in high office (he’s already a calamity not in high office), this is a sickening and frustrating situation.

Let us take a moment then, apart from the whirlwind of innuendo and lies, to remember some Facts about Hillary Clinton:

  • From the beginning of her adult life, long before Bill Clinton and Arkansas, Hillary Rodham has been a most serious, sober-minded and public-minded person. In her commencement address at Wellesley College in 1969, 21 year old Hillary pointedly argued with a U.S. Senator – sitting on the dais with her – about politics (see below). She was principled and fearless.
  • She was a lawyer for public interest issues, in particular child protection. She was also counsel to the House Judiciary Committee in the Nixon Impeachment proceedings. Later, in private practice, she was shrewd and successful. She’s good at making a case but she’s also really good at making a dollar. That’s not a criticism – it’s a compliment.
  • Married to the most naturally talented politician ever, Hillary became for a very long time, a “First Lady” – for Arkansas and later of course, for the United States. She performed the traditional First Lady role well, but enriched it with a heavy amount of policy work.
  • Clinton was a naturally liberal, progressive female politician operating in an oppressively male, conservative world. She learned how to work in that environment. It’s a sign of talent and wisdom – not a lack of principle – that she knows how to achieve compromise.
  • She won her first election decisively and then became one of the most widely-respected members of the United States Senate.
  • From the year 2001 onwards, Hillary Clinton in partnership with her now ex-President husband Bill, set up the Clinton Foundation. This charity relentlessly traded on their connections, fame, glamour and power to make money. Not for themselves, but for projects which have helped millions of the poorest people in the world.
  • She is the toughest, strongest, smartest, wisest figure to rise among Democrats in a generation. From the day her husband left office, Hillary Clinton has been recognized as the leader of the Democratic Party. She was the prohibitive favourite to be nominated and elected in 2008. It took a miraculous phenomenon – Barrack Obama – to stop her. He barely did.
  • President Obama, recognizing in her all the qualities that made her more qualified to be President than he was, immediately co-opted her into his Cabinet as Secretary of State. She would be there still, except that she decided to run for President again.

We should note that Hillary Clinton did all this with a significant impediment in life: she is a female. There is still an overwhelming amount of open and latent sexism in our lives. She walks into that gale-force wind every day, and she does it bravely and without complaint.

As part of the Clinton White House partnership, Hillary became one of the most intensely feared – probably THE most intensely feared – figure among Republicans. The GOP has spent 25 years trying to destroy her. Why? Because she is smarter and stronger than they are, and they know it.

Forty years of public life and a quarter century of relentless attack have steeled this person – she is incredibly disciplined, a trait which makes her cautious, tense and seemingly inauthentic. Yet she does more than cope with this – she flourishes. There is something unnaturally strong about Hillary Clinton, a characteristic which intimidates people. She’s “likeable enough” as Obama once sneered, but not charming.

The truth is, though, that President of the United States is not a job for someone “easy to have a beer with” or “fun.” The world, inside and outside the U.S.A. is complex and menacing. The President must be as tough as the job is, smarter than America’s adversaries, braver and more committed than its own citizens are. The President should not be like most people. She must be better.

Starting with talent, determination and no money, Hillary Clinton has become a dominant figure in modern American history. She had nothing and became one of the greatest philanthropists alive. She has done far more with the little life handed her, than her opponent has made of the riches handed to him.

Hillary Clinton is one of the most successful human beings to walk the face of the Earth. And she wants to use her abilities as President of the United States. If the Democrats can’t get her elected, they will be guilty of stunningly tragic political incompetence. And America will have traded its best choice for President, for its worst.

 

Hillary Rodham June 1 1969 Boston Globe

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2 comments on “The Case for Hillary

  1. Janet Law
    November 15, 2016

    Thank you for this, even though it won’t help elect her now. I’m an ardent Hillary supporter too and my last name happens to be Law. My late husband was David H. It was startling to come across one of your tweets, which is what led me to your blog. I look forward to exploring more of your writing and following you on Twitter.

    Janet Law @fussbudgethhi

    Like

    • dkl
      November 16, 2016

      what a nice note,
      these are the coincidences I try to pay attention to, and I hope this one allows us to become friendly correspondents
      let’s keep in touch!
      David
      p.s. my condolences on the loss of your husband

      Like

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2016 by in The U.S.A., US Election 2016.
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